Is it the end of an era?
What speaks to us when we first look at fashion is how it is deemed acceptable to represent your style. When really there is no acceptable way, and this is shown through the multitude of styles that stand out at fashion weeks in the traditional calendar year.
Not only does it bring a wide audience of captivated individuals but also the opportunity to spread awareness of pressing issues and matters developing in this era.
Ashish’s show dropped at London Fashion Week 2017 and it had a saddening, yet, uplifting effect on me and I’m sure a lot of other viewers. Ashish is just one of the outstanding UK designers that displays a thought provoking politically challenging collection. Not only does his season reflect heartwarming designs but also more potently it addresses pressing issues in today’s society. With slogans such as ‘THIS PUSSY GRABS BACK’ and ‘YOU ARE MUCH LOVELIER THAN YOU THINK’ walking down the catwalk it advocates for a possible shift in how we see this separation in a positive outlook, mental health and gender equality in society. The shift in the traditional calendar that keeps the shows separate is in need of a re-vamp!
On the outset, it makes perfect sense. With fashion shows being super expensive it is probably more cost effective to merge the two. But also the lines between men’s and women’s fashion are becoming even more blurred than before.
Shifts in traditional fashion schedules will undoubtedly have huge ramifications on people who work in the industry. Mainly buyers, designers and publication who not only need to keep brands looking pretty but also need to maintain stock levels and distribution on global scales.
Zara is just one example of emerging high street fashion concepts of unisex lines. With Vetements, Gucci, Burberry and Public School announcing their merge of men’s and women’s collections too it is bound to have a global impact on the way society views fashion and trends. Not only does it make a ton of sense aesthetically but it also allows for both sex’s to experiment with classic shapes and fits. Alessandro Michele has both men and women wearing pussy bows, lace shirts and colourful floral suits so joint shows is only going to emphasize trends and androgynous dressing.
Gucci is a fine example of how fashion is empowering people. It is awesome that Michele’s version of androgyny is skewing more the traditional feminine styles rather than women dressing as men. Overturning the assumption of male dominance is fantastic in its own respect.
Having garments that reflect equality in society brings empowerment and respect to the population, something that is truly needed after such political shifts in our climate. Fashion can be used to necessitate something bigger and greater and I believe merging forces could have a positive impact for all.
POTENTIAL DOWN FALLS?
Designers who have an eye for society will figure out the merging of genders, but it is uncertain what impact it will have on menswear buyers and also what the high street will think of such a shift.
FURTHER DOWN THE LINE?
If this were to become a success in September and February of 2017 then maybe high street and high-end clothing brands will truly embrace the merge of men and womenswear. Will there still be separate sections for clothes (e.g. Topshop and Topman?) or will the shift in outlook develop into something more equal with same sex changing rooms and stores?
Article by @iamkittymurphy